Monday, June 30, 2008

Don't Forget Your Hands!

When it comes to fighting aging, I usually concentrate on my face: does my forehead look sun-damaged? Do I have new crow's feet around my eyes? Do my lips still look plump? What I rarely think about are my hands, which is a big mistake: dermatologists say that the skin on the backs of the hands often ages as fast, if not faster, than the skin on the face, because it's thin and contains less fat and collagen. There are a slew of anti-aging hand creams on the market--for example, Lancome's Absolue Hand--but I'm taking baby steps and starting by applying my SPF/anti-aging face products to my hands in the morning. What do you use to keep your hands looking youthful?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Like Fine Wine

It's often said that men look better as the years go on, while women ... just look older. I disagree: I can think of at least a dozen women in Hollywood alone (and many, many more in my personal life) that look better in their 40s, 50s and beyond than they did when they were in their 20s and 30s. Take Halle Berry for example: now 40, she's more glowing and gorgeous as each year passes, which may explain why Revlon brilliantly chose her to head up their beauty advertisements four years ago. Helen Mirren, Julianne Moore and Demi Moore are other "better with time" icons that come to mind. Thank you, ladies, for showing us that beauty knows no age!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

When In Doubt, Toss It Out ... Or Not?

Space is at a premium in my small NYC apartment, so I recently cleaned out my linen closet in an attempt to make more room. That meant I was forced to face all the beauty products I'd been holding onto. I was embarrassed to realized that some products were nearly five years old--like the Bobbi Brown blemish cover stick in a shade that matched my skin for one nanosecond during a very tan summer, and the Sebastian Dry Clean Only hair spray that never really did make my dirty hair look just-washed. It pained me, but anything that I hadn't used in six months went into the trash (with the exception of my Coco Chanel perfume, which I almost never wear, but can't bear to part with). Now, of course, I'm wondering if I'll regret discarding anything?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Soak Away Stress

If you do one nice thing for yourself this week, take a bath. After several especially stressful days, I took one mid-week last week ... and loved it so much that I took another two days later. I wanted the whole spa experience, so before I filled the tub, I lit a few candles, poured myself a tiny bit of wine and grabbed a stack of magazines. For my first bath, I added a homemade herbal mix (lots of lavender and rosemary--mmm) that a friend had given me; for my second, I wanted bubbles, and I used some California Baby Calming Aromatherapy Bubble Bath (which a friend bought for my daughter--but as it turns out, it's brilliant for adults, too). After a quick soak, I was feeling 100 times more relaxed. When's the last time you took a bath?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Slough It Off

There's no question that dry, flaky skin is instantly aging. But try to slough off too much and you're left with red, irritated skin, which doesn't look any younger, or better! Although I do go for microdermabrasion treatments on a regular basis, I've been using Kiehl's Pineapple Papaya Facial Scrub (on my body, not just my face!) for years; for me, it's just tough enough to remove unsightly dead skin cells, but not so harsh that it leaves me blotchy. What do you you use to keep your skin looking youthful and smooth?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

How Young Is Too Young?

According to AdWeek, GenY women are deeply afraid of wrinkles, and as a result, are buying anti-aging products, like Olay's Definity Line, by the boatload. On the one hand, the majority of these women have a good decade before they begin to show signs of aging--making me wonder if they're wasting their money. On the other, I'm tempted to think this is a case of "better safe than sorry". And I can't help but wonder what I'd look like if I'd started slathering on anti-wrinkle creams 10 years ago. What do you think--will an ounce of prevention in your 20s pay off in your 30s and beyond?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Today is National Splurge Day

Need an excuse to treat yourself well? June 18th is National Splurge Day. I'm going to celebrate by having some really good chocolate (from Burdick Chocolates, in case you were wondering), and--of course--giving myself a beauty boost with a much-needed deep conditioning hair treatment. I'll be using Kerastaste's Intense Enriching Treatment. At $50 a container, it's not cheap--but it's a better value than a trip to the salon. Besides, today is all about indulging, right?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Bright Eyes

Think your tired-looking peepers keep you looking from your youthful best? You're hardly alone: according to an article in the New York Times, 53 percent of Clinique users say that under-eye circles and puffiness is their no. 1 beauty concern. One woman even created a blog about her battle with dark circles. No surprise that beauty companies report that lotions and potions to make eyes look brighter and younger are flying off the shelf. Personally, I use Bobbi Brown's fool-proof concealer to cover mine up. What do you do?

Friday, June 13, 2008

You're Blushing!

I recently read that women who wear blush are perceived as 10 years younger than their non-blush-wearing peers. Personally, I buy it: when I skip blush, someone undoubtedly tells me I look tired (read: old!). But when I do put on a little pink (I usually opt for Benefit's BeneTint) my husband says I look "healthy," which I translate to mean "young". That's why I rarely leave the house without adding color to my cheeks. What beauty product keeps you looking young?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Beauty and Your Bottom Dollar

The national gas average just topped $4 a gallon--yikes! One more sign of a rotten economy. Personally, I've been stretching my dollar by spending less (particularly on take-out meals and clothing; I've also been leaving my car parked and taking public transport) and searching for sales on groceries and household goods. The one area that I haven't cut back, however, is skin and haircare products. To me, it's worth a few extra dollars to have a youthful complexion and hair that's full and shiny. Apparently I'm not alone: I took an informal survey among my girlfriends, who report that they're still going to the salon and stocking up on face cream and lipstick the way they used to. Then again, they're a savvy group of women who know that often the $40 wrinkle cream is just as good--if not better--than the $100 version. How has this economy affected your beauty spending habits?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Quick & Easy

Monday mornings are madness for me: there's tons to do, but always way, way too little time. One way I streamline my routine so I can get out the door faster is with smart beauty products. My current list of favorites includes:

-Aveno Positively Smooth Shower and Shave Cream: This two-in-one product cuts my showering time down significantly.
-dSera Dark Circle Serum: It rolls right on, meaning it takes literally five seconds to apply. Love it.
-Colorescience Sunforgettable Powder SPF: I've mentioned this product before because I'm that big of a fan. You can apply it right over your makeup and it's great for shielding your body, too.

I'm still on the hunt for a hair powder that will give me squeaky-clean looking hair when I don't wash it for a day or two, and a multi-use stick (I've heard Nars' The Multiple is fantastic, but have yet to actually try it) for my lips, checks and eyes. Any suggestions?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Sharing Secrets

Not to sound like a deodorant commercial, but everyone's got a beauty secret--some product or treatment that helps them look amazing. The number one reason I get "you've got great skin!" is my foundation. Although I wish I could chalk it up to mother nature, Bare Escentuals' powder foundation hides every broken capillary, blemish and brown spot on my face--yet magically, is undetectable to the eye (even in the brightest sunlight). Even better, it contains SPF so I'm covered when I forget to slather on sunscreen in the morning. What's your go-to good skin product?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Stretching It

Got stretch marks? I do (I'm not telling where!) as does almost every woman I know. Stretch marks are nothing more than scars, essentially; they're the result of broken down collagen and elastin that's been--you guessed it--overstretched, either due to weight gain, pregnancy or normal growth. In some cases, lasers can treat them, but I'm actually pretty chicken about getting under a burning hot light for any length of time--especially when the results aren't guaranteed. My less-than-perfect but relatively effective stretch mark solution is a healthy dose of Clarins Delicious Self-Tanning Cream--self-tanner makes them less obvious--and a regular application of Retin-A, which helps rebuild collagen. What do you do? Would you go under the laser for perfectly smooth skin?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Don't You Smell Green

I love cosmetic products ... but admittedly, I feel pretty guilty about all the packaging that goes with my beauty booty. I just learned about one way to fill up fewer landfills, though: Saks Fifth Avenue stores and Bond No. 9 boutiques will accept and recycle any glass fragrance bottle, provided it's empty. Going green has never been easier!

Monday, June 2, 2008

So Long To An Icon

Sad news: Yves Saint Laurent died yesterday at age 71. Although best known for his fashion designs, he was a legend in the beauty world, too, thanks to his incredible line of cosmetic products. They offered everyday women like me a touch of true glamour--without the prohibitive price tag of a couture dress. My favorite: Touche Eclat concealer, which makes over-tired eyes bright and gorgeous. His eyeshadows are brilliant, too.